Reviews for Under the Ice


Booklist Monthly Selections - #1 November 2002
Gr. 4-6. Conlan, a Canadian marine biologist, describes her experiences living at McMurdo Station, Antarctica, and diving into the frigid waters below the ice. There she conducted experiments and observed sea life during seven summers, beginning in 1991. The first-person text creates a feeling of immediacy as Conlan recalls memorable moments, such as her first dive through a six-foot tunnel of ice, her panic during an equipment failure, and her underwater encounter with a Weddell seal pup. Well-captioned, color photos appear throughout the book. A few of the pictures look like informal snapshots, but most are excellent in composition and clarity. Conlan, who refers to herself as "the luckiest person in the world," offers readers an engaging account of her adventurous career in scientific field research. ((Reviewed November 1, 2002)) Copyright 2002 Booklist Reviews

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2003 Spring
Conlan describes being a marine biologist, featuring her work on diving expeditions in the Arctic and Antarctic. She foregrounds life as a scientist (travel details, equipment preparation, life at a research station) over the science itself, using a cheery, heartfelt tone. Lots of appealing color photos of Conlan and underwater life are included. Copyright 2003 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Kirkus Reviews 2002 September #1
A first-person account of marine biologist Conlan and her adventures under the ice in the Arctic and Antarctic, two of the coldest and most hostile environments in the world. The lively text, accompanied by dozens of full-color photographs, will make this a useful and appealing introduction to marine biology and the activities of a contemporary working scientist. Not everyone would consider burrowing through six feet of ice in 97 degrees below zero to study the ocean bottom. But Conlan, a marine biologist with the Canadian Museum of Nature, considers it a dream come true. She describes diving in waters so cold breathing that regulators freeze, a pin prick in a glove can result in frost bite, and lips become so numb it's impossible to tell if the breathing apparatus is still in place. Conlan is a teaching scientist who has spent more than ten years studying the effects of man-made pollution on sea life-pollution ranging from old tractors to human waste. Captions for the photos are filled with fascinating information about everything from life forms to descriptions of the camps. When ribbon worms ate Conlan's leftover spareribs, for instance, "Their bodies distended into rectangles around the ribs." An excellent memoir to stimulate interest in science careers, demonstrate the scientific method in action, and support efforts to protect the environment. (Nonfiction. 10-14) Copyright Kirkus 2002 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved

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School Library Journal Reviews 2002 December
Gr 4-8-In this photo-essay, Conlan details her three-month stay in Antarctica, highlighting some of her experiences and her involvement in ongoing experiments relating to the effects of human waste on marine life. Youngsters will enjoy the scientist's accounts of harrowing underwater experiences and diving in the polar regions-suiting up, the dive hut, safety precautions, and dangers-and descriptions of how it feels to be under six feet of ice. Information on the animals that Conlan observed, an introduction to U.S. McMurdo Station (base camp), and a brief history of the first two expeditions to Antarctica in the 1900s allow readers a glimpse of a continent that most people will never have the opportunity to visit. Descriptions of the marine biologist's encounters with playful Weddell seals and Adélie and Emperor penguins and trips to neon-blue caves full of giant ice crystals, underwater sponge gardens, and glacier caverns add interest, as well. The color photos are clear and appealing. Curiously, most of the book is written in past tense, but the last few pages are written in journal form. Jennifer Owings Dewey's Antarctic Journal (HarperCollins, 2001) and Meredith Hooper's Antarctic Journal (National Geographic, 2001) both concentrate on Antarctic wildlife. Sara Wheeler's Greetings from Antarctica (Peter Bedrick, 1999) includes brief information on life at the pole, penguins and small seals, ice, cooking, and the history of the South Pole and Antarctica, accompanied by lots of diagrams and photos.-Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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